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10/16/2008
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Nvidia Unveils Graphics Accelerator For Adobe Creative Suite

The Quadro CX GPU gives graphics professionals the option of higher performance when adding graphics and visual effects to video.

Nvidia on Thursday launched a graphics accelerator for Adobe Creative Suite 4, giving professionals the option of higher performance when adding graphics and visual effects to video.

The release of Quadro CX comes a day after Nvidia introduced the GeForce 9400M, a graphics processor for notebooks. Apple chief executive Steve Jobs this week praised the performance of the GPU in announcing that it would be in Apple's new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air. The announcement was a big win for Nvidia, whose product was chosen over Intel's integrated graphics chipset.

The Quadro CX GPU, which plugs into a PC's PCIe slot, is specifically designed to enhance the performance of Adobe's Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro. The hardware accelerates rendering time for advanced effects, and can accurately preview what video will look like with 30-bit color or uncompressed 10-bit/12-bit SDI before final output. SDI, or serial digital interface, is used in professional video equipment.

In releasing the new product, Nvidia is taking advantage of software Adobe has added to its suite, which profits from GPU technology, such as the parallel processing capability in Quadro CX. "Photoshop users are always looking for maximum performance, and we recognized that tapping into the power of the GPU is one way to give it to them," Kevin Connor, VP of product management for professional digital imaging at Adobe, said in a statement.

Quadro CX features include a 1.5-GB frame buffer and memory bandwidth up to 76.8 GBps to deliver high throughput for interactive visualization of large models and faster processing of large textures and frames. In addition, the card has dual DisplayPort connectors that support ultra-high-resolution panels of up to 2,560 by 1,600 pixels.

The Quadro CX is available from retailers and resellers for $1,999.

In announcing the use of Nvidia's 9400M chipset Tuesday in the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro, Jobs said it runs five times faster than the Intel product used in previous MacBooks. For professionals who want even higher performance in the MacBook Pro, Apple is offering as an option the 9600M GT graphics card.

Apple's decision to choose Nvidia over Intel reflects the heated competition among chipmakers in the growing use of graphics in PCs. The third major competitor in the market is Advanced Micro Devices' ATI division.

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